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Just wanted to mention yesterday's constituency surgery with Stephen Byers, in which the issue of East Timor and Iraq was raised. I was with Lidia Tindle, a lady who works with Timorese exiles in the north east, and who is better at talking to ministers than i am. The session was quite productive, and we had quite a long chat with Mr. Byers, coming out of it feeling a little more positive than usual (we don't normally get on well with Mr. Byers). Among other things, we asked why there were sanctions imposed on Iraq, but not on Indonesia. Mr. Byers said that the sanctions on Iraq were a result of the invasion of Kuwait, conveniently forgetting that Indonesia invaded East Timor... Lidia spoke at length on East Timor and the UN, which I realise is off-topic here, so I won't go into that. I also expressed my concern at the letters that the FCO had sent me, including the one from Robin Cook which i emailled to this list before. I told him that, firstly, I didn't appreciate being lied to by Robin Cook, Peter Hain and the FCO, and secondly, i didn't appreciate the implication that people like myself were undermining the UN and supporting Saddam Hussein's propaganda effort. I went through a few examples in the letters where the FCO ministers had either blatently lied or told only half the truth. He asked me to get him copies of the letters and statements from the FCO which i have a problem with, and he will raise it with the relevent departments. (One of these is a response from the Middle East desk in reply to a letter about Pilger's documentary. I'll get a copy of this posted on my website). Also, he hasn't seen the Pilger documentary, so I'll be dropping off a copy of the video at his office. It should be interesting to see what, if any, action he takes. Maybe it'll stir the FCO into thinking up better bullshit. Best wishes Ronan Dodds www.geocities.com/ronan_dodds -- ----------------------------------------------------------------------- This is a discussion list run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq For removal from list, email email@example.com Full details of CASI's various lists can be found on the CASI website: http://welcome.to/casi